Welcome to the eight edition of this category, which was created when it was apparent there were a group of players that were either old (ok, mostly), on the cusp (but still old), or had simply been in the system for a long time.
The list of notable bats to reach the majors is very short: Brian Goodwin, Spencer Kieboom, and some Juan Soto guy. The decision to start listing high-profile IFAs may help make that list a little longer. All of this year’s list falls into that category.
After coming down with Nationals elbow in 2018, hopes were high for Antuna to get back on track with minimal time lost since the recovery timeline position players is supposed to be shorter. Instead, Antuna played just three games in the GCL before being shut down again with leg injuries. Reportedly he did show up for instrux – “a little thicker” per the scouts; “bigger and stronger” according to BA. The $64,000 question is whether he returns to Low-A and when in 2020.
Despite mediocre results in the NYPL in 2018, Sanchez was sent to Hagerstown to start the 2019 season, which for about a month looked like the right choice. But with a .122/.163/.122 May and the K rate rising in June, Sanchez was returned to the NYPL and just never got back on track. Defense has been his calling card, but he struggled with glove too in 2019 — 27E after just 17 in 2018.
The first of the July 2019 IFA position players, Garcia is a 16-y.o. from the D.R. with plus-plus speed – enough that some scouts wonder if he’s better suited to center field. At the plate, Garcia has fast bat speed and uses a line-drive approach to produce doubles aplenty. At 6′ and 170 lbs. there’s room to fill out, which could change those doubles to homers.
Another shortstop, Martinez is a little smaller (5-10, 160) and a year older but can switch-hit and has a lot of raw tools, including a plus arm and plus speed. Like most toolsy players, the challenge is to convert that raw talent to practical skills and play under control. Naturally, the comp that gets thrown at him is to Wilmer Difo.
Quintana is from Venezuela and is listed at 6′ and 205 lbs. Currently a CF, the obvious inference is that he may have to play in one of the corners, which would probably in LF since he has a below-average arm. If his speed has slowed to average, his power is still growing, and that’s what makes him intriguing. He’s already been stateside for instrux, which could be a sign he’s GCL-bound.
Unfortunately, there not much to be found on the 17-y.o. from the D.R. aside from his signing and his specs: